Tlaib says Democrats have discussed detaining White House officials who don't testify

The Hill 1 week ago

Rep. (D-Mich.) revealed in a new interview that House Democrats have discussed jailing allies of the president who do not comply with congressional subpoenas, an escalation of the House's efforts to force White House compliance with an impeachment inquiry.

In an interview with Deadline Detroit, Tlaib said that such an action, known as inherent contempt, would be "uncharted territory" for Congress but added that "serious discussions" about taking the step have occurred within the Democratic caucus.

“There have been actual serious conversations about what the logistics would look like... if we did have to force someone through a court order to come before the Congressional committee," she said. "This is pretty uncharted territory for many of us and even for Congress.”

Tlaib's comments echoed those of Rep. (D-Calif.), who called for the House to do as much in a CNN interview earlier this week.

"I think it's time to call in the sergeant-at-arms and march them off to our little jail, which we do happen to have," Garamendi said on Wednesday.

"Let them sit there and cool off for a while," he added.

Whether Congress would be successful in enforcing a declaration of inherent contempt is unclear: Such a crime is prosecuted by the Justice Department, which could potentially decline to prosecute the charge.

The White House has warned Congress that it will not cooperate with an impeachment probe in the Democratic-controlled House, though a State Department official defied an order to not testify this week and met with congressional investigators.


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"This is pretty uncharted territory for many of us and even for Congress," the Democratic congresswoman said.
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